The New England Patriots lost two offensive linemen to free agency recently. Starting left tackle Nate Solder signed a lucrative four-year deal worth $62 million with the New York Giants after serving as blindside protector of quarterback Tom Brady in New England since 2012. Offensive tackle Cameron Fleming signed a one-year deal worth $2.5 million with the Dallas Cowboys. To beef up their offensive line depth, the Patriots signed offensive tackle Matt Tobin to a one-year deal. Before joining the Patriots, Tobin played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks in his first five years in the NFL.

Patriots ink offensive lineman

Seeing the need for another offensive tackle, the Patriots signed Ulrick John, a seventh-round pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Georgia State, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The Colts signed him to a four-year deal worth $2.27 million, but he didn’t play a down for Indianapolis as he spent his rookie year on injured reserve. After the Colts waived him, John signed with the Miami Dolphins where he played two games. John played three games with the Arizona Cardinals in the next two seasons before he signed with the Green Bay Packers last season. John is a versatile offensive lineman as he can play right or left tackle.

With the Patriots, John will compete for playing time with Marcus Cannon, LaAdrian Waddle, Antonio Garcia, Cole Croston, Andrew Jelks, and Tobin.

Patriots interested in Heisman winner

The Patriots are anticipated to take a quarterback at some point in the 2018 NFL Draft. From the looks of it, they could use either one of their two first-round selections – No.

23 and No. 31 -- to take an heir-apparent for Brady. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network Insider, the Patriots are “intrigued and impressed” with Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2016. Rapoport said if Jackson is available at No. 23, the Patriots could pounce on the dual-threat signal caller.

Rapoport reported that the Patriots silently brought in Jackson to Foxborough for a pre-Draft workout where he impressed the team’s top brass.

Earlier, Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report said the Patriots are “most interested” in Jackson. In Jackson’s Pro Day, the Patriots sent director of player personnel Nick Caserio to take a close look at the Heisman winner. Jackson is expected to be taken behind Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield, so he could remain on the board until the No. 23 selection.